Gaylord Entertainment, the conglomerate that owns the Grand Ole Opry, the historic Ryman Auditorium, WSM-AM and -FM radio and an assortment of country music and lifestyle ventures, will soon be looking for a new guardian. CEO Terry London announced today that after three years, he is stepping down to pursue personal interests, according to The Tennessean newspaper. The 51-year-old London has been with the company for 22 years, most recently serving as its Chief Financial Officer before taking the CEO helm upon the 1997 retirement of E.W. “Bud” Wendell.
One of the more significant events of London’s tenure was the sale of cable networks CMT and TNN as well as Internet site country.com to CBS, which netted Gaylord $485 million in CBS preferred stock. Earlier this year, CBS merged with Viacom, Inc.
In second quarter 2000, Gaylord suffered a $14.2 million dollar loss, according to The Tennessean. A company official reported that the losses are not tied to London’s resignation.